When You Get Thrown off the Plane… Have Good Food!
My Mom and I headed off for Paris earlier this week while visions of almond croissants danced in our heads. Only one problem, our travels ended in Chicago for a night because our flight was canceled due to “mechanical issues.” My mother is in great shape for a 90-year-old, but this was not going to be an easy situation for her or me. At least it gave me time to reflect on a difficult experience and write you these thoughts on dealing with the unexpected.
“Getting thrown off the plane” is just a metaphor for the difficulties we all face in life. And, how I approached it got me thinking about the techniques I use for dealing with daily stress, as well as the bigger struggles in life as well. First, I’m a pretty big fan of trying to control everything so life turns out just how I like it. I plan and I plot. Yet, there are times (many times) that you must give yourself over to the alternative plan life has for you. Here are some of my musings on dealing with the hand you’ve been dealt.
- Have Good Food: Seriously. If I can get my hands on some good food, I am automatically happier. It is my first line of defense. There could be a lot of reasons for this. When my body is nutritionally fed, I feel better physically. When I feel better physically, I also feel better emotionally and mentally. The first thing I did when we got to our hotel in Chicago was to Google “food near me” and I found a great Mediterranean restaurant right across the street. It was quite delicious and it calmed and noursished my body, heart, and soul. Feed yourself well and notice how it makes you feel. Tip: Look for the food.
- Look for the Silver Linings: I had asked for special accommodations for my almost 90-year-old mother on this trip. This proved to be a lifesaver. As soon as we got off the plane in Chicago, we were whisked away by special services and given red carpet treatment as we navigated getting a new reservation, hotel accommodations, and food vouchers. It was truly the best way to get grounded. Tip: Look for the good.
- Engage with Others: In addition, instead of just being stressed, I engaged the agent assisting us with some casual conversation, and we discovered a mutual love of meditation. She was getting ready to go on a 10-day Goenka meditation retreat. She expressed her need to get away and renew. I can imagine someone in her position, dealing with upset people every moment of the day, she would really need this! I immediately had great empathy for her and it took me away from my own challenging situation. I gave her my website information and free meditation resources. She said she would contact me about my yoga retreats. Make a personal connection with another human being. It will always make you feel better and may end up giving you a wider perspective. Tip: Connect with others.
- “It Is What It Is”: This is a piece of advice from my Mom. She told a friend about what happened and said this is her personal motto. You must accept what happens with the best attitude. Don’t let it get you down. Once it happens, make the best of it. She’s 90. I think I’ll listen to her. Tip: Accept the situation.
- Do Yoga (or other movement): I took my travel mat on vacation with me and it really came in handy this morning. I did my energy medicine wakeup routine, my yoga moves, and some strength training with a strap I brought along. My body feels SO much better for it. Every day, devise a personal movement routine that you can do and keep your body humming. Once again, when your body is functioning well, you can think more clearly and feel happier. Tip: Move your body.
- Give thanks. I always think about the things that I’m grateful for. It is the most natural thing in the world for the mind to get caught in negativity. It requires effort not to stay engaged with it. Take your mind and put it on those things that are also happening in your life—those things that bring a smile to your face. For me, it was the fact that my mother and I were privileged and able to even consider going on vacation in France, we would be visiting our lovely French brother Didier and his family, and I would be connecting with my favorite niece, Sarah who I haven’t seen in a while. (By the way, she is my only niece, but she’s still my favorite!) Tip: Be grateful.
I hope these tips help the next time you are stressed. Send me a note and tell me how you deal with stress. I’d love to hear from you!